Monday, May 23, 2005


AB came over a few nights ago to install a graphics card I'm going to buy from him. Far from requiring soldering irons, specialist screwdrivers or degrees in mechanical engineering, it was a simple matter of popping off the side panel, snapping the card into place, popping the side panel back on, restarting the computer and repeatedly hitting "Next" as the various installation programs roused themselves and poked the new card with a stick.

The card is costing me $70, but it already allows me to play three games I own that didn't run on my computer before. AB also believes that having a dedicated graphics card will free up system RAM, meaning that demanding programs should run faster.

One of the games is Star Trek: Elite Force, which has basic system requirements that even my last computer, an old Pentium 400, could easily handle, except for the fact that it needs serious dedicated graphics capabilities. Owning it was like being a curator at the London Science Museum circa 1900 and bringing Babbage's Analytical Engine out of storage only to discover that it won't work without a modem.

The game itself seems ridiculously easy, at least in the earliest stages. It's a First Person Shooter, and your initial First Person Shootees are the Borg. Given that the main threats of the Borg are their plodding tenacity and their predilection for injecting nanites into people, and given that you have a long range, highly effective Borg blaster that can take them out with two shots as they slowly plod towards you waving their nano-injectors from across a cavernous room, you're not in a lot of danger. Ironically, the most fun so far is seeing how quickly one can interrupt their droning intonations about one's doom.

"We are the Boaaarrgghhuuuuhhh"... thud

Indeed you are. How's that working out for you? Quite badly, I suspect.

"You will be asssimilaaauugghhh"... thud

No, not now, thank you. But let's do lunch sometime.

"Resistanzzbbt zzbt"... thud.

Sorry to cut you off there. I'm in a bit of a hurry.

No doubt my current hubris will come back to haunt me, bite me, assimilate me, and/or otherwise make my avatarial life difficult in due course.


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